I recently sold my first book. I was elated. I still am. I was before. Selling a book didn’t make me happy—it increased my happiness factor. You see, I wake up with the need to be positive. I’ve read The Secret, and there’s a lot to be said for positive affirmations, visualizing our hopes and dreams and casting them out to the universe. But if you’re miserable before, during and after, will obtaining The Secret change anything for the better? Maybe you’ll be richer, more successful, but will you be any happier?
Think about it. How many of us have said: If I could lose five pounds, I’d be happy? If I work harder, it’ll lead to a promotion and then I’ll be happy? When I finish this manuscript, it’ll lead to a publishing career, and then I’ll be happy?
My point? Happiness needs to come before your success.
I attend Toastmasters. I belong to a great group in Colorado Springs, and one of our speakers gave a speech on Happiness. In it, she referenced psychologist Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage. Achor, an expert on human potential, claims that happiness is an advantage and the precursor to greater success.
He states that every single relationship, business and educational outcome improves when the brain is positive first. He further writes, it’s hard to find happiness after success if the goalposts of success keep changing.
Anyone think he was talking about publishing after reading those statements? Probably not directly, but I had some real aha moments after reading this book.
In The Happiness Advantage, Achor defines rational optimism as a “realistic assessment of the present, while maintaining a belief that our behavior will eventually create a better reality.”
Here’s a link to an interesting Youtube video featuring Shawn Achor during one of his talks at Harvard. http://www.bing.com/search?q=Youtube+and+Shawn+Achor&form=LENMHP&pc=LEN2&x=78&y=19
We are inundated daily with negatives in this world. Worse, if you’re pursuing a publishing career, prepare for decisions to be slow to nonexistent, for rejection to be commonplace, and for some to view you as a competitor instead of a colleague. If you’re miserable when you enter this field, you’re in for a terrible, heartbreaking road. Happiness will be your cushion for the myriad disappointments you are bound to encounter.
Achor says our society’s formula for success and happiness is broken. The happy news is it’s reversible.
I think Achor is on to something. What do you think?